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tv   Erin Burnett Out Front  CNN  July 17, 2012 11:00pm-12:00am PDT

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and why stop at the classics. there are plenty of other books that could use erotic enhancement. how about cook books? what about do it yourself home improvement books? financial books? all very informative but there's zero sex in there. i say let's just turn the whole barnes and noble into 50 shades of gray knock-offs from wall to wall and floor to ceiling. i bet sales would sky rocket. that's it for us. mitt romney standing his ground refuse to go release more taxes, calls reach a deafening pitch. today he gave another reason why he shouldn't have to.
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and an exclusive investigation into the risks of off-shore drilling. we went outfront to the arctic. shell has a plan to prevent the disaster like the one that happened to bp and the deepwater horizon. does it add up? let's go "outfront." "outfront" tonight, ben bernanke says no to the addicts. addicts that are desperate for another hit of the fed's drugs. today in hearings on capitol hill, america's top banker, the chief of the federal reserve, got more negative on the state of the u.s. economy. >> given that grth is projected to be not much above the rate needed to absorb new entrance into the labor force, the reduction in the unemployment rate seems likely to be frustratingly slow. >> so what's the solution? well, in note after note from wall street economists and traders today, i read something along the lines of this. bernanke will launch another round of easy money to help the
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economy. it will bring interest rates even lower. it's just a matter of time, he'll do it, he'll do it, don't worry. that's the kind of talk the addicts use. yearning for more of his powerful drug, which is essentially just cheap, easy money. so many were hoping for another shot of the goods today, but while the fed chairman painted a darker picture of the economy, he also made it clear he is not ready -- not ready to hit us with another round of easy money, at least not yet. >> we are looking for ways to address the weakness in the economy, should more action be needed. >> now ben bernanke also said, quote, congress is in charge here. not the federal reserve. and that congress needs to reach an agreement to avoid the fiscal cliff. well, of course, we've joined that chorus until we've been blue in the face over the past year. but the problem, of course, is that congress does not seem to have any intention of dealing with the tax cuts, debt ceiling, sequestration cuts, the things that comprise the fiscal cliff.
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congress seems to be incapable of doing its job, something that chuck schumer admitted at the hearing today. >> so given that the political realities, mr. chairman, particularly in this election year, i'm afraid the fed is the only game in town. and i would urge you to take whatever actions you think would be most helpful in supporting a stronger economic recovery. >> i like watching ben bernanke's face. he looks down as if his heart has been broken. he could cave. he could give us more easy money, drugs, he could do it in august, he could do it in september. but you know what, it isn't something to just root for, plain and simple. because you know what, the fed's cheap money drugs are not cheap. congress is the one that needs to act. we've already had three rounds of ben's version of stimulus. and it came with a price tag of $3 trillion. so we actually did the math. we're the highs that we got worth the price? take a look. when the financial crisis first
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hit, the fed stepped in with an unprecedented plan to lower interest rates, and stimulate borrowing and economic activity. they call it qe-1 or quantitative easing 1. so it went from november of 2008 all the way to march of 2010. and during that time, we did see effectiveness. borrowing rates dropped, according to 30-year fixed rate mortgages fell from 6.33% to 5.23%, pretty good for the addicts. the cost was $1.7 trillion. and the economy still was dragging along. so ben served up another shot. qe-2 went from november 2010 until june of the following year. it was like a bad trip. a 30-year mortgage rate actually went up by the end of qe-2 and we spent $600 billion. the economy still did not get better. so ben tried again. he gave us a little bit more. a more creative cocktail, sort of a methamphetamine special. called operation twist. maybe bath salts. it launched in september, 2011. goes through the end of this year. and mortgage rates have fallen a little. 4.22%, down into the 3s. but nowhere near the buzz of the first hit. and frankly, the reason the
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rates have gone down so much, have had a whole lot to do with europe's problems and pushing into the united states out of desperation and the feds printing another $400 billion. so the bottom line, every time we got another injection from ben bernanke, the highs, the benefits got a little bit lower. the $2.7 trillion cost of the total fed stimulus, how about this, another way to see whether it was worth it is to see whether it succeeded in the ultimate goal here, to create jobs. and look at this. it does not add up. for every job created from the beginning of ben's stimulus, quantitative easing until today, the fed's money would be $807,205 per job. that's a lot of money. so ben bernanke knows the bad side of his drugs. he could have done what everybody wanted today and launched another qe. qe-4. but he had the guts to say, sure, the economy is slowing more than i thought. that does not mean i will go print another hundreds of billions of dollars of money. "outfront" tonight, steven moore from the wall street journal editorial board and christian weller from the center for american progress.
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what do you think, steven moore? did he do the right thing by holding out and saying, look, i'm just not going to do it yet, even though you have people like chuck schumer, you know, i've got to give him credit, throwing in the towel and saying, look, we're not going to do it, buddy. it's you or nobody. >> you used the right term, gutsy. i thought this was a gutsy speech by the fed chairman, ben bernanke. the members of congress, you were right, they were like crack cocaine addicts, begging ben bernanke for just one more fix. and he said no to that. and i thought that was an important point in that speech. he was quite discouraging about the economy. anybody who thought that ben bernanke was going to give congress a pat on the back and say everything is going to be okay and full speed ahead, that was not the presentation that he gave today. he said, look, we're in some really tough times. he didn't project that the unemployment rate would fall. he basically said we're going to be at 8% or more for a while to
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come. and i just found it very discouraging. >> mine, that part, christian, was depressing. the question is, should ben bernanke do anything more? i mean, after all, when you look at the amount of money and that he's tried to pump into this economy, it has worked less and less every single time. and certainly per job, that number is pretty frightening. >> well, i mean, let's be clear. that's just the balance sheet of the federal reserve. it's not really money spent, it's just shoveling money from long-term into short-term and bringing more cash into the economy. but i think the fed should do more. what i'm missing, really, from bernanke is a sense of urgency. i mean, we're acting as if qe-3 is the only thing we could do. operation twist would be another way to go. the fed could change its targets. for instance, could target unemployment rates as some have suggested, it could target growth rates, which ultimately -- >> christian, they've been targeting -- let's be honest. he's been trying to get -- >> that's the problem. the federal reserve -- >> but it was an explicit mandate to do so.
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i find it hard to believe he would have suddenly had a magic tool -- bullet he didn't already try to use. >> we do know that these explicit targets matter. that they do create certainty that they create self fulfilling expectations. that they will bring in more spending, because then it says, okay, well, the federal reserve says unemployment rates should be there and the unemployment rate will use all of its tools, a variety of its tools, interest rates, quantitative easing, whatever you want, in order to get there. and i think that's sort of what we're missing. it's sort of like, yeah, it's not as good as we had hoped. >> this whole issue with the fed target -- hold on. i don't want to get into a debate. hold on. hold on, christian. i don't want to get into a debate over what the fed should target, although i recognize it's a very important one. but steven, what about his point? >> the point is that qe-3 is not the only tool that the federal reserve has. >> here's the problem. the federal reserve should -- >> christian, let steve respond. >> with a sense of urgency and try to do something. >> here's the problem.
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if just printing money, erin, were the solution to our problems, boy, would this be an easy crisis to get out of. as you showed eloquently, that's what the fed has been doing the last four years. we have had had the lowest -- look, push interest rates lower? you saw, erin, what happened today. 1.44% interest rates on the 10-year treasury bill, the lowest they have been any time in my lifetime, and probably since the great depression. so, look, i just don't think printing membership is the solution to this crisis. i do think one of the important things bernanke said today, don't jump off that fiscal cliff. you know me, erin, i'm a big believer, we should get rid of that tax time bomb. chuck schumer was wrong. the one thing congress could do right now, tomorrow, to make the economy better, would be to take the tax off the table that i think is having a very unsettling effect on businesses right now. >> all right. we're going to hit pause on that. obviously, that tax thing is much more complicated than just doing it tomorrow. although i know everybody would like to. they just have different ways they want to deal with it. all right, still "outfront," mitt romney gave an interview to a local station in pittsburgh
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talking about why he will not release more than two years of tax returns. and we have that for you next. and victor boot, remember him, the merchant of death? he is in prison for dealing arms around the world. but others have picked up where he left off. and the woman leading the charge to track them down is "outfront" tonight. new developments in the search for those two little girls who disappeared in iowa on their bikes. fbi dogs were searching today. we spoke to the fbi. that's "outfront." this is new york state. we built the first railway, the first trade route to the west, the greatest empires. then, some said, we lost our edge. well today, there's a new new york state. one that's working to attract businesses and create jobs. a place where innovation meets determination... and businesses lead the world. the new new york works for business. find out how it can work for yours at
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our second story "outfront," mitt romney doubles down, refusing again to release more of his tax returns and claiming the obama campaign only wants them for run reason. here's what he said, just moments ago in an interview with our pittsburgh affiliate, wpxi. >> my experience is that the democratic party these days has approached taxes in a very different way than in the past. their opposition people look for anything they can find to distort, twist and try and make negative. and i want to make this a campaign about the economy, and creating jobs. d they want to make this a campaign about attacking people and diverting attention from our job fixture in this country.
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>> john avalon, jonathan prince join me. a democratic strategist and veteran of the obama and clinton white houses, both of which, of course, it's only fair to say, do have a long and storied tradition of tax return disclosure. so do many republicans, wry han, who have run. it's interesting romney is making this about democrats who have been critical. so have many republicans and strategistists. today they said mitt romney give it up. >> indeed. >> i like how ryan is like, indeed. that is true. >> a lot of folks -- haley barbour, a large number of leading republicans saying it's time to release tax returns. the theory that i find interesting was advanced by josh green of bloomberg business week. of his theory is, in 2009, a large number of high net worth individuals experienced big post crisis losses, and as a result of that, many of them paid unusually low shares of their income in taxes. so one possibility -- >> my theory.
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there is going to be one year where the rate is -- >> one possibility is in that year the rate is bizarrely low and that's tough to explain despite the fact that it kind of makes sense when you take really big losses in any given year you're not going to pay high taxes. but i think that might be what's at issue here. >> but we're going to sit here and discuss it. people are going to talk about it. he can come out and explain it d it would be done. he was vetted for vice president -- just put him out there. >> four years ago, ran for president. he has been governor since 2002. so we're left to assume rationally what he just said. look, it's not worth it. and it's not credible for mitt romney to say it's the democrats who want to see his returns when you look at the litany of conservatives who now have said this. look, national review, haley barbour, ron paul, bill crystal, the governor of alabama. probably nothing has united the disparate wings of the conservative movement as much during mitt romney's candidacy as this call to release his tax returns. >> so all right. let me make this point, jonathan, this is a bipartisan tradition.
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john mccain did only give two years, which is fair to say. but george w. bush gave eight years of tax returns. john kerry gave 20. my god, i can't even believe he saved 20 years. president obama gave 12 years. jonathan, that's the point. i -- how do you graciously, if you're mitt romney, give in here? >> well, there's no gracious way to give in anymore, because he's had his back up against the wall for so long. but there still is the opportunity to give in, get it out there and move on for him. i mean, you know, those of us who have, you know, gone to kind of crisis communications 101 have taken those -- 101 course of crisis communications understand that you've got something that you don't think people are going to like, the best thing you can do is get it out there and get it over with. meanwhile, mitt romney, you notice, continues to dance around the subject and dance around the subject, giving us lots to talk about on cable tv, speculating what's in it, speculating what might be in it. it's fun for us. >> one night of aggressive hits on the low tax rate in 2009 or
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whatever it might be and then you move on. >> look, it's got to be -- it's definitely going to be more than one night. here's the issue erin. he is right to say that this is a distraction. but the problem is that that's the dynamic. that's been unleashed. and, you know, i think that you eventually have to deal with that. i think that's a reasonable point jonathan raises. >> okay. >> distraction of his own making. and, you know, there is fundamental dissonance, he can't demand apologies for negative campaigns when he is campaigning on no apology. he can take control of the cycle. it's communications 101. you have to put it out. >> put it out there and then say here's what i'm going to do about jobs. i didn't want to do it, you guys are jerks, but i did it. "outfront" investigation into drilling for oil in the arctic. shell is ready for a potential disaster like the deepwater horizon. and an update on the recovery of aimee copeland, the young woman making a miraculous recovery after she was attacked by flesh-eating bacteria. her father, "outfront" tonight.
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our third story "outfront." it's full speed ahead for shell oil and its plan to drill wells in the arctic. today the man who has to give final approval before drilling it start said his agency, the
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department of the interior will make the final call on august the 15th or by august 15th. secretary ken salazar wouldn't say whether drilling would occur this summer. he told the "new york times" we have not given the final permits to shell, and if it does occur it will be done under the most watched program in the history of the united states. if approved, shell could be opening up the entire arctic to the world. are they ready? we remember the horrors of deepwater horizon. how would shell clean up a spill in the arctic? we went north to alaska to find out. >> reporter: the race for oil and gas in the arctic is on. way out ahead, the russians, norwegians, danes, even canada. when shell oil drills exploratory wells this summer off alaska's north slope, potentially u.s. oil will be in the gain. a gain that will test shell's technical abilities, above all ice will be one of the biggest challenges. >> we do recognize, we're going to be working in ice. and our assets are developed to
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work in ice. >> reporter: drilling the exploratory wells in the bove arrest and chucky seas. the rigs can float free in the event of an emergency. this is america's last frontier in the world. and shell finds what it thinks it will under the ocean this summer, it will cause a gold rush of gold rush for oil for decades to come. that will mean permanent production wells. they'll be heavy and very big. fully enclosed, cement and steel structures so workers could survive year-round. hover crafts over ice. as tons of ice crushes in, it would run up the side and curl back on itself. but it's now that people here worry about. >> they have to promise me that there won't be no spill. >> reporter: along with the oil
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rigs, shell has 15 vessels dedicated to clean-up if there is a spill. the problemssay people here, none has been tested in alaska. u.s. government rules prohibit introducing oil or other contaminants into u.s. waters, even for research purposes. tests have been conducted in norway and research laboratories. but not on site in real world conditions. >> by faith, we believe them. by faith, we have faith on them that they're going to do everything by all means, everything to protect our way of lifestyle. >> reporter: shell says each well will have maximum protection, reengineered blowout preventers and a capping stack system on hand. that's what finally put an end to the deepwater horizon disaster. shell says risk is limited. environmentalists counter, it only takes one accident to destroy a way of life. >> i'm curious. how do they know if this really works?
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it seems like every time there is some horrific thing it sort of -- the horses come out of another barn. >> that's the tough thing. they won't know it works until it actually happens. they're going to have a lot of material and men and ships, both vessels at sea, and helicopters and planes at the ready in case a spill does break out. they will try to get it before the oil actually makes it to land. >> so they live there and sit there and just wait for the hypothetical. >> literally, ships will sit and watch these two rigs for the entire time they're out there, month and a half, two months they're drilling. >> wow. like watching a plant grow, but obviously very important. why is there such a need to look for oil in alaska? we heard so much about how we found so much oil and gas in the continental united states. >> the easy answer is oil is no longer easy to be gotten. any oil well pumping today, will only get less over time. the alaska oil -- the oil line coming out of prudo bay right now is down by like two-thirds of what it was when it was at its peak. so there is tons of room in that pipeline if they can fill it with oil, they would certainly like to do that.
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>> all right. thanks very much, tam okay continues tomorrow "outfront." next, the so-called merchant of death no longer dealing arms to fuel conflicts throughout the world. but we're learning who is. and a murder suspect on the run tries to get away by stealing a commercial plane. it helps to have an interior full of hand-selected wood trim and soft premium leather... and it doesn't hurt to have a selec-terrain dial that truly performs. ♪ why? i thought jill was your soul mate. no, no it's her dad. the general's your soul mate? dude what? no, no, no. he's, he's on my back about providing for his little girl. hey don't worry. e-trade's got a killer investing dashboard.
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welcome back to the second half of "outfront." we start with stories we care about where we focus on our reporting from the front lines. first, criminal investigations are under way by the fbi and dutch authorities after needles were found in six sandwiches on four delta air lines flights. all the flights were going from amsterdam to the united states. one person was injured. "outfront" has obtained a statement from the catering company which provided the sandwiches saying that we take this matter very seriously. gate gourmet immediately launched a full investigation to determine the root cause of this disturbing incident, and we are treating this as a criminal act. a delta spokeswoman tells us
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another no other needles have been found. cnn obtained a copy to extend the tax cuts for couples making $250,000 or less a year. senator harry reid has promised to bring the bill to the floor next week. in addition to extending the bush tax cuts for those families, it keeps the 15% tax on capital gains and dividends, again, for couples who make less than $250,000 a year. it also extends a modified child tax credit. republicans expected to oppose the bill, because they want the bush tax cuts extended for all income levels. and now the national highway traffic safety administration has opened an investigation into 2001 through 2004 ford escapes and mazda tribute suvs. they're investigating 99 complaints, talking about stuck accelerator pedals. one is based on a fatal crash in january of this year. 591,000 vehicles could actually be affected. and a man linked to a colorado springs murder allegedly attempted to actually steal a commercial plane at a utah airport.
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but then he committed suicide before the plane took off. colorado springs police tell cnn brian hedge land was being sought in the stabbing death of a colorado woman. he was an employee of sky west airlines. in a statement, sky west says he was currently on administrative leave and no passengers were on board when the incident occurred. it has been 348 days since the u.s. lost its top credit rating. what are we doing to get it back? inflation is in check, the index that tracks consumer prices was unchanged in june, partly because of lower gas prices. that's great. if it only wages would grow. now four fourth story outfront. the shadow of international arms sales. this week we'll be going to africa to shine a light on the bloody conflict in mally, rebels including those with links to al qaeda reportedly armed with weapons that came from moammar gadhafi's libya, the same libya where we spent $1 billion to overthrow cadaver. cathy lynn austin, just back
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from africa leading the charge to track down illegal arms dealers. i know you have a major development to report tonight. first of all, the situation in mally with al qaeda gaining strength and traction, it appes. what kinds of weapons are pouring into mali from libya? >> well, the main thing you have to worry about is surface to air missiles. what happened was, just before the conflict broke out in libya, gadhafi had up to about 20,000 arsenal of surfaced air missiles. after the conflict was over, 5,000 are missing. still unaccounted for. so that's one of the things you have to worry about. another thing, jeeps mounted with machine guns. lots and lots of ammunition belts. these are prowling the streets. something to be concerned about when you're there. >> and so let me just ask you about the question you've been looking at. victor bout, obviously, everybody has heard of him, merchant of death and now serving time in jail.
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and you've been investigating well, when victor bout was accosted, who took his place. i think the same thing is clear happening in al qaeda and other places, new arms dealers now, right? >> everybody has been asking, who is going to fill victor bout's shoes, so i set out on an investigation, a six-week investigation in africa in the middle east, looking to see what victor bout's lieutenants were up to. and i came upon two of the top lieutenants, sergei densenko, one of his right hand men and andre kosolarov. >> and they were there, and you were able to track down weapons, the planes, everything they were using. did you find american connections? >> we did. what we found was that because russian aircraft are aging and also the russian network wishes to have a new cover of legitimacy, they were trying to
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source aircraft out of europe and the u.s. one of those aircraft came from bangor, maine. it was involved a company called c & l aerospace. what was interesting, they said, oh, my goodness, on one hand it appears now we're servicing the arms traffickers in africa. and on the other hand, we're servicing american companies that are running black operations in africa. so that just kind of shows the out of control nature of this elicit arms trade. >> and is it getting worse, with all of the instability in libya, in egypt, in the middle east right now? i mean, are you seeing sort of an increased flow? >> well, what we're seeing is a revving up of particular networks. what they're looking at mostly is trying to place aircraft also in iran. we believe this is for the syria contacts. still lots more work to be done. >> transferring weapons into sear yeah. >> yes, looking to do it with passenger aircraft.
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no one suspected passenger aircraft in the past. what i found victor bout's lieutenants doing, trying to source passenger aircraft out of europe to give it legitimacy so they can make these runs into damascus. >> all right. thank you very much. pretty amazing reporting there. and i guess pretty sad to just accept the fact that victor bout has been replaced. now spain is in serious trouble. the unemployment rate you may have heard is about 25%, the second recession since 2009. and today we learned that immigration is dramatically moving. according to the national statistics institute, the number of people leaving the country in the first six months of the year was up 44% from last year. unfortunately, the government is too financially strapped to help. a few days ago, the prime minister unveiled an $80 billion austerity plan, which is forcing everyone to make cuts, and cuts at the top.
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it means the royal family. that's our number tonight. $494,000. that's how much carlos and crown prince phillipe will collectively cut their salaries, a 7% reduction which obviously is a whole lot better than a lot of other spaniards have and you can't cry for them, because the royal family still has $10 million budgeted for expenses this year. "outfront" next, new developments in the search for those two missing cousins, little girls in iowa. fbi search dogs were out today for their first day on the ground. we talked to the fbi. and we're getting an update on aimee copeland's recovery. her father, "outfront" next.
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only at the sleep number store, where queen mattresses start at just $699. i tell mike what i can spend. i do my best to make that work. we're driving safely. and sue saved money on brakes. now that's personal pricing. we're back with our outer circle where we reach out to sources around the world and we begin in syria with new footage from damascus, shedding light on the massacre of civilians outside the capital that happened last month. 45 people died in the attack,
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including children. opposition characterizes as an execution by government forces. the government still claims it's fighting terror groups. awar daman is following the story. >> reporter: well, erin, it most certainly throws the claims into question, as do the reports of just about every single other massacre. now, in this particular instance, residents say that at the end of june, government forces went through apartment buildings, allegedly searching for weapons, and that is when the killings began. now, three activists went into a few hours after the massacre to film what happened, but they ended up trapped inside this damascus suburb of do you meana for over a week because of the intensity and ferocity of the shelling. and it's just an indication of what it takes for activists to bring to light, to bring to the international spotlight, one instance of the ongoing horror in syria. erin? >> thanks to arwa. to london, the games in the spotlight for some of the wrong reasons. first, the lack of security
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preparation, and then reports of athletes getting lost on the way from the airport to the olympic village. and today, cab drivers clogging central london in protest. jim boulden is in london and told us why they did it. >> reporter: just ten days ago before the opening ceremonies, the drivers of london's iconic black taxis decided to stage a protest around here, around trafalgar square. they're unhappy with the olympic lanes set up for those who are going to be at the games. they cannot use those lanes. they also say there are other restrictions during all of the games that will affect their way of doing business. >> scandalous. they use us as an icon of london. the buses can use the lanes, the motorcycles and cyclists, but we've been kicked out. >> reporter: however, the government made the decision not to let the black cabs use the olympic lanes many years ago. so with less than two weeks to go before the opening ceremonies, it's unlikely they'll change their minds and many of these drivers say they will not make as much money during the olympics as they once hoped.
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>> all right. together. and authorities are again focusing their search on meyers lake where the girls's bikes and purse were found. we talked about the fbi's involvement in the search and whether there is a chance those little girls are alive tonight. >> we have also deployed and called in resources from quantico, deployed our rapid abduction deployment team along with our evidence scent team to aid with the serve search. >> this is a hard question but people have seen the pictures of elizabeth and lyric so many times are wondering. you're five days out from these girls missing. what are the chances that you find them alive? >> well, in cases like this, you never want to give up.
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you have to remember, the case of elizabeth smart. i mean, there is always hope. we're always going to think positively and continue to cover every lead that comes in until we get this case resolved. >> correspondent martin savage "outfront" tonight. let me ask this key question, which i had for the fbi today, there is no sign of struggle, at least we heard. two little girls together, 8 and 10. you know, you would think if something had happened, with someone they didn't know, there might have been signs of a struggle or someone might have noticed something. i know the family has been taking polygraph tests today. what's your sense on what you're hearing on whether there was an abduction, whether it was perhaps by someone they knew? >> you know, really, erin, the family is faced with two horrible choices here, these two little girls. either they have drowned and something tragic happened but not a crime, or there is a crime. and i mean, i don't know as a parent what you would hope is the outcome of that particular dilemma.
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i asked the parents about what gets them through. was talking to lyric's parents, daniel and misty, and said how do you just get through every day? it's been four or five days now. and here's what they said. >> i don't know, really, how to keep going. but i got to. you know, i'm not going to -- i'm not going to -- i don't know. i'm going to cooperate completely with them and do whatever to eliminate whatever, so they can get on track with what's going on. >> reporter: and this community is so committed to finding these two little girls f they have to drain the entire lake, no matter how long it takes, that's what they'll doing and that's what they're doing right now. that's only part of the effort. they are investigating if it could be a crime, as well. >> marty, you talk about the lake being drained.
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people talked about the lake being shallow so they would have a sense of the little girls being there. what are you heang about that? they will drain the lake or think that's more likely or less likely than some sort of an abduction? >> reporter: well, it's a little more complicated than that. the lake is actually -- it was part of a highway system that was built on a highway right behind us here. so it's deeper than many people think. there are pools. some parts are shallow, some
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deeper. that's why they've got to get in there. that's why they want to drain it. will they drain it all? no, five acres. let me show another interesting thing. crime scene tape here, pretty common. and a grim sign. but lo, follow it right here to this tree. all around you find these pink ribbons. so it's this mixture of facing the reality of potentially a tragedy but hope is still here in this community. still very much alive, both with the families and in the town itself, erin. >> and marty, what are authorities telling you about whether they are still investigating the families or friends of the children? >> reporter: they are. i mean, they are. i asked that at the press briefing today. i said, are you investigating the families? it's standard procedure. they have to do that. they know it. the families know it. they have already been questioned, already given in some cases polygraph tests. they realize in the past family members have been implicateded. they gladly do it, part of the investigation. authorities say no one has been ruled out, but they also say they've got nothing to say this is a crime, yet. >> marty savage, reporting from iowa. and now our fifth story "outfront." amy copiland continues her inspiring recovery from the flesh-eating bacteria that cost her a leg, a foot and her hands. but not her spirit. she has inspired so many around the country. her emotional and physical journey back from near death, though, is a huge challenge and her father, andy, joins us tonight from atlanta. it's always good to see you, andy. thank you for coming out. i know we have talked so much about your daughter's overwhelming spirit. i know that you said, though, she did have a rough patch, a rough moment.
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tell us about that. >> she did. i mean, the doctors actually changed around her medications. they pulled her off some medications. actually, they pulled her off all of the narcotics. and she was on some light doses of certain narcotics. but they pulled her off. and i think the withdrawal actually had a big emotional impact to her. and this is probably a good thing. because it caused her to actually connect with the fact -- yet again, of her missing limbs. and it was actually a very emotional moment for her. but this was you did say she had a breakthrough, in the process of learning how to move and operate before she gets prosthetic limbs. what was her breakthrough? one of the things she wanted to accomplish, her ability to transfer by herself from her bed to a wheelchair.
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well, they actually -- the nurses had actually kind of held off and the physical therapist held off on that. but yesterday i actually for the first time set it up and told her kind of how to do it. she had already been working with weight shifting with her physical therapist, basically last two weeks. yesterday was basically the time to put all that to work, and she actually -- on the first attempt, moved herself from the bed to the wheelchair. they rolled her into her therapy room. and she was able to transport herself from the wheelchair to her exercise mat. and then back to the bed again later. after everything was done. so an amazing accomplishment. she was -- she was really excited. she called me up at that moment when she got back to the room on her cell phone to tell me about it. so it was great. >> that is just -- it is amazing. is she starting the process of getting fitted for those prosthetics? how long -- i know it just
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depends, right, on how things go. but how long before she can get the fitting process and start learning to be normal again with arms and legs? >> you know, in the fitting process, it's not something that's done one time. they actually came out two weeks ago, they did the casting on friday. and then they actually had what they called sockets, formed the sockets. and then pro care came in and actually fitted those test sockets on last week. and then they -- there was a little couple spots where maybe it was a little fitting too tight so they went back and adjusted it, cut away a little bit of the excess. brought it back yesterday. and then they fitted it again. and it was great. actually, everything felt wonderful. they put the straps on. and they're going to fit her with hook prosthetics this week, so actually tomorrow -- tomorrow is the big day. but now it's another test. it's not the final prosthetic.
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they're going to take the hooks, fit them on temporarily on to the end of the sockets, so this is just another step in the test socket phase. >> i'm glad you took the time to describe it in detail. people have been asking about how the process goes. is she -- is she excited about that or ready for that? i'm also curious, i know i've spoken to your wife and your other daughter. does she have friends that are able to come and visit her or is that not something she has wanted to do? >> no, actually she's really wanting to have friends come visit her. in fact, this weekend, she has actually reached out to quite a few of her friends she went to school with and asked them to come in on sunday. so we're actually going to let her spend that time with them and we're going to step back and let her enjoy sunday with her friends. and she's really looking forward to the prosthetics it the prosthetics they've got, there's two versions. there's one that doesn't have like a swivel wrist. the other one does have a swivel wrist. so she's going to test both of them.
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i think she'd love it if she had the actual prosthetics fitted when her friends showed up so she could show them some of the things she can do, that would be great. >> good to see you as always. >> thank you, erin. >> next, i'm about to board a plane for an interview with a former president of the united states. we're going to tell you why and where we're going. [ manager 1 ] out here in the winds, i have to know the weather patterns. i upgraded to the new sprint direct connect. so i can get three times the coverage. [ chirp ]
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former president bill clinton is in south africa today. he was meeting with nelson mandela. since first visiting africa in 1998, clinton has returned many times to open schools, health facilities and waste treatment centers on behalf of his foundation. africa is hugely important and the clinton global initiative is betting on african growth, which is why in addition to south africa he will visit mozambique and rwanda. it's a passion he shares with george w. bush who also spends a lot of time there. i'm going to be in rwanda for an exclusive interview with former president bill clinton.
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we're going to be talking about the good stories of africa and some of the crises there that could effect america right now. of course we'll also talk about the u.s. election. during the trip we also plan to examine the flight of the silverback gorillas. the very endangered species virtually defenseless. their very existence is being threatened every day. we want to find out if anything is being done to protect them. it is not the only violence in africa now. there are horrible refugee crises around the continent. we're going to be going to mali. things have gotten significantly worse. mali is now being called the worst human rights situation in 50 years according to amnesty international. we'll take you to a refugee camp where about two-thirds of the people there are children. and find out the role that al qaeda is playing in the conflict along of course with tse